When Eamon Rockey of Betony in NYC set out to create this recipe for beet wine, he started with a question: “Why does wine work so well with food?”
For me, wine fits into a meal so well because of its agility in navigating a multitude of textures, flavors, temperatures, seasoning levels and aromas. Acidity, balance and structure are crucial for this to be accomplished.
Further, clarity, complexity, and refinement are the qualities of a noteworthy beverage that take it past the level of a pleasant and rustic fresh-pressed juice to a well-articulated and meaningful “story in a glass.” How do we accomplish this!?
Apples have the truly unique ability to provide a backdrop for other ingredients to showcase themselves even more brilliantly than in their pure form; apples also have gentle sweetness and brilliant acidity. Red beets, their beauty aside, bring earth and unctuousness to whatever dish or drink they’re included in. Lastly, one could argue that tea, especially the best oolong and pu-erh varieties, are second to no other drink (alcoholic or otherwise) in complexity, history, and versatility.
Tea, like wine, also brings tannin, a crucial attribute of many of the finest food accompaniments. With all ingredients combined in proper proportion, the Beet Wine doesn’t attempt to imitate its grape-born inspiration, but rather to identify with it while speaking from a new vantage point. Plus, think of how cool it would be to make a white version with yellow beets, and a rosé with chioggas!
- 1 cup red beet juice, chilled overnight and poured off of any sediment
- 2 cups oolong tea, slightly over-steeped and chilled
- 2 cups green apple juice, chilled overnight and poured off of any sediment
Combine all ingredients, chill lightly (approximately 50°F), and serve from a wine bottle.